Building enormous facilities to accommodate huge amounts of hardware has long been a trend in the data center industry. There were also smaller facilities used by individuals for their own equipment. But now, the emphasis is on more compact, local facilities known as edge data centers.
The interest in edge data centers and the benefits they bring is steadily increasing, and it’s all for a good reason. In comparison to core data centers, edge data centers are smaller, located closer to end customers, and can process data with lower latency.
In this article we will provide an answer to the questions “What is a data center?” and “What is an edge data center?”, explain the differences between edge vs cloud and regional data centers, talk about the benefits of using an edge data center, and more.
Before we dive deeper into the benefits and importance of edge data centers, let’s answer the question “What is a data center?”
A data center is a facility that uses a complex network, storage, and computing infrastructure to provide shared access to data and applications. There are industry standards to help with designing, building, and maintaining data center infrastructures and facilities to guarantee the data is highly available and safe.
An edge data center is a decentralized facility with cooling and power infrastructure that offers storage and computing in a location close to where data is being generated or where it is going to be used. This means that an edge data center stores, processes, and analyzes data close to the end user’s location as opposed to sending network traffic to the closest major market to be processed in a cloud or regional data center.
When it comes to the physical location, edge servers can be set up at a standalone facility or in a variety of different environments, including cable headends, the base of cell towers, telecommunications companies, or on-site in an organization.
As mentioned before, edge data centers are located close to the end users. Physical proximity to end users guarantees that roundtrip network time is as short as possible. The main objective is to decrease data latency and boost throughput. In addition to proximity, an edge data center has the following key characteristics:
Cloud data centers are large in scale and situated outside of urban areas, where electricity and land are comparatively cheap. The distance between cloud data centers and the end user, which can range from hundreds to thousands of miles, increases the latency at which the data is ultimately delivered. As a result, although cloud data centers may support use cases including website hosting, e-commerce, and mobile and web applications more effectively, edge data centers can suitably service applications with low-latency requirements.
An edge data center is situated very close to where data is generated or used. Regional data centers, on the other hand, are frequently situated in bigger urban areas and cover a wider geographic area, which means they are located farther away from the end user. Because of this, regional data centers are better suited to handle less performance-sensitive tasks like storage and analysis, while edge data centers are better suited to supporting applications with low-latency requirements.
Moving data centers to the edge has four key advantages, which include:
The rapid growth of IoT and 5G networks have paved the path for the creation of new cloud-based applications in a number of industries. For many of these applications, such as wearable medical devices or self-driving cars, to work successfully for end users, highly quick processing, low latency, and high bandwidth are necessary.
According to Gartner, 45% of all IoT data is currently processed at the edge. Together, IoT and edge computing offer a quicker, more effective method of data collection and processing. Data processing is handled via edge computing in real-time, which decreases network congestion and latency, which results in more efficiency and a more seamless customer experience. Moreover, IoT devices can serve as cloud gateways, enabling even greater data collecting and processing. Edge computing and IoT work together to offer a complete solution for processing and managing data.
Compared to centralized IoT designs, edge computing has a number of benefits, including
reduced latency, a better quality of service (QoS), reduced energy consumption, an ability to deploy software updates on the fly, faster data processing, facilitated data transfer between IoT systems, improved data security, easy scalability, etc.
The top edge computing use cases are listed below:
Edge data centers have been getting a lot of attention over the past several years due to the numerous benefits they bring, and will likely continue to be a major focus for years to come.
We hope that this article successfully answered the questions “What is a data center?” and “What is an edge data center?”, and managed to explain their benefits and importance. Building a cost-effective and sustainable edge data center requires working with a supplier like EdgeUno that can provide the services and space you need quickly and efficiently. With EdgeUno’s colocation services, your critical infrastructure is placed in tier III and tier IV locations around Latin America and you get the most densely connected network in the region right to your space. We also eliminate the implementation hassle with support or turnkey services for purchasing, importation, logistics management, edge center equipment rental, as well as storage of equipment and parts thanks to our competent and experienced logistics professionals located throughout the region.